Weak Hand Shooting: Wasteful Pursuits?


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Mad Magyar
March 24, 2007, 02:54 PM
I contend that if the need ever arises, you’ll be just as focused, equally stressed and handicapped if you never practiced the drill in the first place. BTW, a nice waste of time & ammunition. Street research indicates that a LEO in deadly danger will keep the gun in his strong hand even when shooting around a left corner; he will use the weak hand only when the strong one is shot away (so remote it’s non-statistical), making the supported weak-hand position a joke…:cool: For the CCW holder: infinitesimal inconsequential. Even proponents of revising competitive pistol shoots want to eliminate off-hand shooting.
So, why is it being taught by these gun training sites to Mr. CCW? For one reason, it makes the participant think he’s really getting his money’s worth. A nice time-filler along with some other wasteful pursuits: tactical reloads; ridiculous shooting drills like lying prone backside, groveling around the dirt, ad nauseam that I will fully expand on later posts…. It’s nonsense! Some of the antics being taught as street readiness are premeditated fraud to inspire false bravado in the guise of confidence building.
So please, enough about a strong or off-hand being hacked by a machete and the nonsense that you need to be equally adept with both hands….It’s pure fantasy…..:banghead:

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10-Ring
March 24, 2007, 02:57 PM
A few years ago I hurt my strong arm that prevented me from shooting for a while. When I finally missed shooting enough, I taught myself to shoot w/ my weak hand / arm. I think the reason to learn how it practicality and to provide me more options just in case.

Damien45
March 24, 2007, 03:06 PM
Off Hand Shooting is a good thing to practice. There are a lot of mechanics involved, including comfort of off hand, eye dominance and stance. I realize that John Q CCW may never do CQB but it can happen. There are a lot of places that cover/concealment on your weak side is the only option. One could say that is being parinoid, but the same can be said of all of us who shoot scenerios.

I would ask this, is shooting the only thing you practice? Do you practice draws, FTF, FTE, use snap caps to simulate FTF? Are these non important skills also?

In conclusion, it is your life, practice what you want to save it. I will practice what I want to save mine and others.

the naked prophet
March 24, 2007, 03:13 PM
You should definitely practice with your weak hand. I generally only practice one-handed with my left, because I figure the only time in a real situation that I'm going to be shooting left-handed is when my right hand is either injured or otherwise occupied.

If someone unexpectedly attacks you, do you think you're likely to, say, grab the guy's knife wrist with your right hand? Do you let him go so you can draw, or do you draw your BUG with your left hand and shoot him while you're holding his knife arm?

longeyes
March 24, 2007, 03:45 PM
Thanks for reminding me to practice more with WH. Good idea to mix in some of that every time at the range. I usually shoot two-handed and strong-handed, seem to avoid WH. Obviously, it's not nearly as much fun watching my shots go "astray."

mrcpu
March 24, 2007, 03:50 PM
I would agree that becoming as proficient weak-handed as strong handed is probably subject to the law of diminishing returns.

But even if 99 times out of a hundred, it isn't used, at least some basic familiarity with it for that 1 is good.

For me personally, while I do lots of things both handed, musical instruments and such, typing, etc, where I've never considered my weak hand at a disadvantage, I cannot believe how awful I am shooting weak-handed.

So I practice with it a little bit, mainly to assuage my wounded pride.

And when all is said and done, my gun, my money, my ammo, within safety limits, I'll do what I want, much as your are free to do the same.

Pepper46
March 24, 2007, 04:17 PM
You cite all the studies, and statictics, but you give no refrence to where they can be found, or who did the studies. To quote from your post,
"Street research indicates that a LEO in deadly danger will keep the gun in his strong hand even when shooting around a left corner; he will use the weak hand only when the strong one is shot away (so remote it’s non-statistical), making the supported weak-hand position a joke… For the CCW holder: infinitesimal inconsequential. Even proponents of revising competitive pistol shoots want to eliminate off-hand shooting."

I have never been a proponent "Street Research", as it is usually one persons opinion based on something that they have little or no knowledge of the situation or the circumstances surrounding the event.

Off hand shooting has been taught to LEO's for as long as I have been involved, and as with anything that requires coordination and muscle memory
it must be practiced and implemented on a reqular basis, shooting with the off hand once or twice a year won't get the job done. It must be practiced and be part of a reqular parctice routine.

The average CCW holder must be taught these methods, and be given ample oppprtunity to paractice and perfect it. How they choose to implement it into their practice routine, is a matter that they will have to decide for themselves.
I don't think a blanket "It's a waste of time and ammo". is an opinion that would have to apply to the author.

Onmilo
March 24, 2007, 04:55 PM
I know of an Illinois State Police Officer who took a bullet to his strong arm.
He was able to pick up his sidearm weak side and effectively return fire against the bad guy who shot him, ending the shootout and killing the bad guy.
Reason enough for me to waste ammunition enough to become proficient with my weak side ability.
As a side note, after you waste enough ammunition, you get really, really good with your weak side ability.

Waywatcher
March 24, 2007, 05:07 PM
In the competition arena, its just one more measure that can be used.

Would it really make sense for "Masters" to NOT have mastered this skill and be no better at it than a novice shooter?

My guess as for "the proponents of revising competitive pistol shoots want to eliminate off-hand shooting" is that they are either not very good at it and refuse to practice, or they think that competition needs to be "100% realistic" at the expense of being fun and challenging. In either case I've yet to meet a competition shooter who espouses your belief.

longeyes
March 24, 2007, 05:44 PM
I don't think it's too much to ask that you be able to hit the torso of an attacker at, say, 10-15 feet, with your weak hand. Nothing fancy, just basic. If I were packing--I'm in Los Angeles--I'd probably carry a J-frame in my offiside pocket for back-up, at least sometimes. I'd like to think I could use it efffectively at near point-blank range, put a couple of quick shots into the chest.

You have to assume that in a surprise attack you might be parrying blows with one or both hands/arms before you have a chance to draw. You need some options.

possum
March 24, 2007, 05:50 PM
i definetly think it is important to shoot with your not dominat hand for sure, i practice it, but not enough of course and is something that i need to start touching on everytime i go to the range, i guess, i think it is a very good skill to have.

Mad Magyar
March 24, 2007, 05:59 PM
You cite all the studies, and statictics, but you give no refrence to where they can be found, or who did the studies
As most of you know, there is hardly anything written about firearms that is original or hasn't been discussed before.:rolleyes: This includes my main thesis: weak-hand shooting...I certainly understand why you would in desperation need to fire with the off-hand, but to practice it? As mentioned, diminishing returns with stress: forget it....
BTW, before some of you who have attended some of these gun schools start fuming that this is blasphemy and start name-dropping , Thunder Ranch, GunSite, etc ; my thoughts come from a legend in his own right: prolific author, lecturer, former-LEO, consultant, mag reviewer,[/I] LFI founder: MASSAD AYOOB!
He's probably forgotten more than most us know....:rolleyes:

M2 Carbine
March 24, 2007, 06:18 PM
So please, enough about a strong or off-hand being hacked by a machete and the nonsense that you need to be equally adept with both hands….It’s pure fantasy…..


A smart man prepares for what is likely to happen.

A very smart man also prepares for what is unlikely to happen.



If I'm ever in a gun fight I hope it's with the first man.:)

M2 Carbine
March 24, 2007, 06:25 PM
...I certainly understand why you would in desperation need to fire with the off-hand, but to practice it?

And if you don't practice? Exactly what makes you think you could hit anything if you don't practice?

There's a thread going on about shooting with your weak hand.
Let's see what you can do.:D

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v135/Bell406_206B/THR10ydchallangeRugerSS.jpg

tmajors
March 24, 2007, 06:33 PM
I've seen a few rifle drills that are weak hand only. Rifle. Not one shot, not a group of five shots....the entire drill. I think it's wasted effort and ammo.

Shoot weak hand enough to get familiarity, but definitely don't drill in it exclusively and expect your strong side to get stronger though use of your weak side.

Can't say with a completely valid opinion for pistol but just from rentals and shooting friends' pistols I'm gonna have to say the same thing.

That's just my opinion.

wally
March 24, 2007, 07:03 PM
I try to practice at least 10% of my shooting with the off hand every range trip with pistols. Most of my rifles are so thoroughly right handed I don't bother to practice left handed with them. If rifles are involved and I'm wounded, my comrades are going to have to carry on the fight without me while I wait for the medics. With handguns I'm probably on my own!

--wally.

BullfrogKen
March 24, 2007, 07:28 PM
Shots impacting the hands and arms are much more common than your assertion: he will use the weak hand only when the strong one is shot away (so remote it’s non-statistical)

Our hands and arms are in front of our body when we shoot. If we are being shot at, shots that hit us have to go around, or through those extremeties. Its not as remote as you assert.

Claude Clay
March 24, 2007, 08:09 PM
so , if you live in FL you NEVER have to learn to drive in the snow.......till you visit Boston in the winter, Well DUH you'r attitude is such that i am begining to think that all people who pass a NRA course's ARE NOT psychology prepared to fight in the real world. Did your AAA instructor teach you how to change a tire in a storm when you have either hand in a cast??? Or you don't want to practice, Ehh? Darwin rules. One cannot use statisitcs to future an outcome on an INDIVIDUAL event~~it either is/or isn't.
.

browningguy
March 24, 2007, 08:16 PM
I contend that if the need ever arises, you’ll be just as focused, equally stressed and handicapped if you never practiced the drill in the first place

To put it simply, I contend that you are wrong.

Damien45
March 24, 2007, 09:30 PM
A couple of replies I have read here mentioned how practicing with the weak hand is a waste of ammo. I now ask you this, was it a waste of ammo when you first started shooting? I do not personally know anyone who has picked up a firearm and shot a 2" or better, group on their first try ever.

I do practice strong and weak hand shooting. Am I dillusional to believe weak hand will strengthen strong hand? No. I do believe it will help with overall shooting mechanics because I must focus on them more.

What would you call someone who buys a gun to proctect their home and family and never shoots it? Because, imho, I would say someone who never practices weak hand, yet carries a gun, as having the same mindset. If you don't know how it will perform, how much confidence do you have in it? I would rather have knowledge of, and not blind confidence in.

Mad Chemist
March 24, 2007, 09:47 PM
Anyone here ever try to land a punch to the face and wind up hitting the bony side of the skull instead?

Even well conditioned knuckes sometimes break. Strong fingers can still get "jammed".

I shoot OK left handed, not great but decent. I also practice off hand with both of my carry-guns. I definitely don't try for bullseyes at 25yds, instead I focus on off-hand trigger control at around 3-5yds rapid-fire.

oregonshooter
March 24, 2007, 09:53 PM
I hope you started this thread just to stir the pot, but in case you didn't...

All you have stated is opinion (yours) and then alluded to "street facts" that do not exist. You are suggesting that we train to the lowest denominator?

There are many examples of why you should be proficient with your weak hand. Just think for a few minutes and they will come to you.

Set your goals low and you will likely accomplish them. :scrutiny:

PS. Ayoob "the boob"? There are many more instructors (older and battle proven) that would disagree with your thesis for obvious reasons. Something worth considering.

Chris Rhines
March 24, 2007, 10:17 PM
I contend that if the need ever arises, you’ll be just as focused, equally stressed and handicapped if you never practiced the drill in the first place. So you contend that a shooter who has never practiced in weak-hand shooting will be just as proficent shooting weak-hand as a shooter who practices it regularly?

If this is what you are saying, then you are wrong.

Even proponents of revising competitive pistol shoots want to eliminate off-hand shooting. This is nonsense.

- Chris

pap1105
March 24, 2007, 10:36 PM
weak hand shooting will teach you more than you thought possible about hand gun shooting.

Kurt_M
March 24, 2007, 10:59 PM
Apparently you've never worn a cast on your dominant hand before. I've done it twice and will quite possibly have to do it again. If I do, I surely don't want to be even more defenseless because I can't shoot. It's bad enough to not even be able to pick things up normally.

Having a cast is only one way your dominant hand might be incapacitated. Sure, the chances of getting hit in the hand during a gunfight are slim, but so are the chances of getting into a gunfight in the first place. If you happen to be in that .0001% that gets into that situation, you're not .0001% screwed, you're 100% screwed unless you're properly prepared. I'm not playing the odds, I'm trying to be prepared.

innerpiece
March 24, 2007, 11:56 PM
"So please, enough about a strong or off-hand being hacked by a machete and the nonsense that you need to be equally adept with both hands….It’s pure fantasy"




yeah, that makes about as much sence as: "I have a gun, so I dont need to know how to defend my self without it"...


I consider weak hand unlikely, but I also consider an actual defensive situation that requires my pistol unlikely... However, I train for weak hand, and I pack 24/7......

guess I live in fantasy land...


ip.

JDGray
March 24, 2007, 11:59 PM
M2 Carbine, so your left handed, big deal:D No really , nice shooting

fastbolt
March 25, 2007, 12:02 AM
Okay, I'm not going to become involved in some theoretical debate over the applicability of non-dominant handed shooting (1 & 2-handed, FWIW). I'm required to train and test our folks in this ... so I do.

Now, previously I didn't really spend an over-abundance of time on my non-dominant (left) hand shooting. Just 'enough' to be able to demonstrate good enough skills and performance as needed. Sufficient.

Sufficient for what, though? The range? Being able to 'perform' upon demand, on the firing line, in known circumstances? Hmmm. Did I really feel comfortable intentionally limiting myself to that? What about that time when I was recovering from a couple of different surgeries on my dominant right arm? How did I feel about my left-handed skills then? Good thing I was off on disability back then, wasn't it, and wasn't required to qualify and demonstrate my off-side shooting skills ... or actually needed them, come to that, wasn't it?

Funny thing, though.

I later suffered an injury which left some small amount of residual weakness in my left hand. Not enough to interfere with my work, but enough that it gave new meaning to my 'weaker hand'. Instead of it providing me with an excuse to spend even less emphasis on weak hand shooting, it bothered me enough to keep working on redeveloping my left hand.

It reached a point where I decided to spend almost half a year focusing on my non-dominant (left-handed) shooting, both 1 & 2-handed. I continued to train with my strong hand, and maintained my right-handed skills, but I deliberately spent a significant amount of time each range session working my left-handed skills. Standing, kneeling, barricade/cover, movement, multiple targets, shoot/no-shoot. In other words, using my left hand in all of the training circumstances I commonly performed with my dominant right hand in control. There were days I spent much more time using my left hand than my right hand.

Took some work. Safety was paramount throughout. (Non-dominant skills aren't exactly within the 'normal' comfort zone, nor have they commonly benefitted from the same exposure to repetitive training.)

Paid some dividends. Non-dominant skills noticeably improved. Confidence improved.

Must've just been coincidental that my dominant right-handed skills also experienced an improvement, too, huh? Where'd that come from? Couldn't be connected to deliberately mentally revisiting all of the basic skills and concentrating on improving my performance of them while shooting with my left hand in control ... a bit outside my usual comfort zone ... and sometimes switching eye-dominance, as well ... could it????

(Hey, here's a thought. Back when I was working uniformed patrol I always wondered what might happen to me if I was on the receiving end of a windshield bullet impact, and spalled glass fragments injured my dominant eye, but miraculously not my non-dominant eye. Could I still effectively employ my weapon using only my non-dominant eye? Hmmm.)

I don't intend to let it slip again ...

Also FWIW, I've invested some time shooting the AR left-handed.

Might be handy, or it might not. Don't intend to roll the dice. I dislike gambling.

Works the brain as well as the less dominant side of the body. Working the mind, if it's for reinforcing proper skills and patterned responses, can't be a bad thing ... from my perspective, anyway.

Other folks can choose as they see fit.

Be satisfied with no or minimal ability, if it's even required for work-related skills proficiency/qualification for many professionally armed folks ... or demand more of themselves, even if it's only for 'rounding out' their training & skills, deliberately seeking out SAFE training and practice methods to develop and improve their weak-handed shooting skills?

I had to spend extra time working on my left arm & leg when first becoming involved in the martial arts, too. Still do spend some extra attention on them ... and that's after almost 37 years of training. Now it's a habit.

Might be handy, might not. ;)

M2 Carbine
March 25, 2007, 03:09 AM
One of the best reasons I've found for practicing weak hand shooting is because more and more my right hand is shaking.:D

jlh26oo
March 25, 2007, 03:27 AM
To those of you who think weak hand performance is = for those who practice and those who don't; go shoot an idpa match. You should do well on those particular scenarios.

:evil:

Diamondback6
March 25, 2007, 03:45 AM
You can have more skill with just your strong hand than all the great gunfighters combined, but it will do you no good at all if the Hopped-Up Crackhead Zombie Mall Ninja Who Worships the Ground Gecko45 Walked On ;) attacks while your strong arm's broken from a skiing accident or something.

And for this reason, I train with my weak hand too, in about a 3 strings strong/1 string weak ratio; plus bumping it up to an even 50/50 split some sessions.

Besides, that helps strengthen that arm for my preferred reload: second iron, ready to go in the other hand.

Dobe
March 25, 2007, 05:29 AM
I agree with your assessment, Fastbolt. My take on off-hand shooting is similar. I have been practicing off-hand for years, but not just with shooting. I have found that off hand usage is a great brain developer, and therefore have become practicing ambidextrous. I say practicing, because I wasn't born ambidextrous.

I often will have a left hand only range day, where by I shoot only left handed, and with my non-dominate eye. After the awkwardness dissipated, I was surprised how fast my skills improved with my left hand. The use of my non-dominate eye wasn't that difficult when I learned to lightly squint my right eye. The squint allows me to fully utilize my left eye, while still taking in light with the right eye. By keeping the right eye partially open, I am also better able to keep my balance.

What I have found is that if one practices enough at anything, it becomes a part of your character. I have taken off handed practice to another level by using my computer mouse almost entirely with my left hand. I now prefer it, but only because I have used my left hand to manipulate a mouse for over ten years. It is what is commonly called second nature.

If you are interested in becoming trained ambidextrous (not genetic), there are many exercises that will facilitate this development. Learn to write with your left hand. This is very frustrating at first, but you will be surprised how fast this will improve. Eventually, you will be able to even use chop sticks with your off hand.

This all leads back to off hand shooting. When I shoot off hand, I practice slow fire for precision, and then move to rapid fire mandating reloads. I generally practice with both auto and revolver. With revolver, I shoot primarily double action. Over time, I have found that when I pick up a handgun with my left hand, and point down range, my right eye automatically squints.

I've read in some of the above post that off hand shooting will improve your strong hand shooting. I agree, and offer this explanation. When learning to shoot off handed, the way you learn is to over come the awkwardness by paying attention to every detail of your actions. You mentally walk yourself through the steps of accurately shooting. You critique your stance, breath control, etc, all the way and including follow-through. This is not as easy to do with the strong hand, because of the familiar feeling one has with strong hand shooting. You simply do not realize you may be doing something incorrectly.

It does work.

Caimlas
March 25, 2007, 07:34 AM
From a practical standpoint, it's pretty fantastical, yes. But then, statistically, so is the likelyhood that someone will actually have to use their CCW weapon at all, let alone fire.

On the other hand, there is something to be said for further weapon familiarization, and doing it Just Because -for the martial benefit and self control of doing something requiring further discipline and self-control. Good enough for me in my book (or would be, if I had the time/money).

Mad Magyar
March 25, 2007, 10:17 AM
So you contend that a shooter who has never practiced in weak-hand shooting will be just as proficent shooting weak-hand as a shooter who practices it regularly?

If this is what you are saying, then you are wrong.


In a firefight, that's what I'm saying...Since I'm a strong advocate of point shooting-unaimed fire, I will occasionally fire a few rds with the off-hand for technique, balance, "ying & yang"; and will be close...But to expect most pistoleros to have any type of proficiency & time lining up a 2-hand Weaver with the off-hand when "hell breaks loose" is preposterous....Practicing that on the range is a wasteful pursuit, but to each their own...
Fastbolt, yours is a different situation...If my dominant hand is failing due to health or injury concerns, of course one should switch over since this will be now the dominant hand...
BTW, critics of PPC shooting events have been advocating eliminating off-hand shooting for at least 30 yrs...

Double Naught Spy
March 25, 2007, 10:45 AM
I contend that if the need ever arises, you’ll be just as focused, equally stressed and handicapped if you never practiced the drill in the first place. BTW, a nice waste of time & ammunition. Street research indicates that a LEO in deadly danger will keep the gun in his strong hand even when shooting around a left corner; he will use the weak hand only when the strong one is shot away (so remote it’s non-statistical), making the supported weak-hand position a joke…


Right becoming more proficient and expanding one's skill set is a waste. :rolleyes:

In regard to LEOs not changing hands, very few get much more than a cursory introduction into weak hand shooting and most don't practice. With so few officer-involved shootings, only a few officers ever get involved that have the training and practice to maintain their skill set may ever be involved in a shooting and even then virtually none will get shot in their strong hand or arm. Of course, very few officers will ever be shot or be disablingly wounded in a battle. So the stats are very small not because officers won't change hands in battle, but because so few having the training, proficiency, and end up wounded in battles.

For the CCW holder: infinitesimal inconsequential. Even proponents of revising competitive pistol shoots want to eliminate off-hand shooting.

That is because they don't practice weak hand and so don't like getting beat by those who do.

BTW, before some of you who have attended some of these gun schools start fuming that this is blasphemy and start name-dropping , Thunder Ranch, GunSite, etc ; my thoughts come from a legend in his own right: prolific author, lecturer, former-LEO, consultant, mag reviewer,[/i] LFI founder: MASSAD AYOOB!

Well here you lost me. First you content that weak hand skills development is a bad idea is YOUR contention. You made your stand on your own feet and that is respectable. Then after getting responses contrary to your views, you decide to attack again and caution folks about name dropping and then name drop yourself, apparently claiming your dropped name is more credible than any other dropped name.

So, not only are you involved in the name dropping game that you played down, but as it turns out YOUR contention isn't even your own and you were simply making somebody else's claims without giving that person credit. Weak, very weak.

1911 guy
March 25, 2007, 11:08 AM
The OP mentions assuming a mirror image weaver stance. Not happening, a two hand hold is when you have two hands to work with, therefore you'll be shooting strong side. Off side shooting is done one handed when the threat is directly in front of you and in a compressed position (elbolws tucked in to avoid exposure) when shooting from cover requiring the use of the off hand.

The best way to solve the issue in your own mind, keyboarding isn't going to do it, is to spend the cash and take a real world type defensive pistol class. Having had training in the military, taken the NRA pistol course and also done some of the above mentioned defensive pistol classes, I will say outright that the NRA class is woefully inadequate as a training standard. It is an introductory class, not a training class.

M2 Carbine
March 25, 2007, 11:48 AM
1911 guy
The OP mentions assuming a mirror image weaver stance. Not happening, a two hand hold is when you have two hands to work with, therefore you'll be shooting strong side.

Exactly.

Another thing that surprises me is people don't practice shooting one handed with their strong hand.

When I learned to shoot only sissies used two hands.:D

Chris Rhines
March 25, 2007, 12:28 PM
But to expect most pistoleros to have any type of proficiency & time lining up a 2-hand Weaver with the off-hand when "hell breaks loose" is preposterous Who said anything about a 2-hand Weaver with the off-hand? I thought we were talking about one-hand, disabled shooter drills: shooting with the weak hand only. I've never heard of anyone shooting in a two-handed weak-hand index - the very idea is ridiculous. Is this some kind of PPC thing?

I have never heard anyone in the IDPA or IPSC community talk about eliminating weak-hand shooting.

- Chris

M2 Carbine
March 25, 2007, 12:47 PM
You can always cheat and use a laser.:D

10 yards. Weak hand from the hip. S&W 2 inch J Frame.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v135/Bell406_206B/LaserJFrameLefthand10yards.jpg

Walkalong
March 25, 2007, 01:20 PM
You can always cheat and use a laser.

10 yards. Weak hand from the hip. S&W 2 inch J Frame.

I'm thinking M2 Carbine shoots a lot and is naturally talented in this area.:D

Like a good pool player. They make something difficult look easy.:)

DWARREN123
March 25, 2007, 01:53 PM
Practice to improve in anything is not a waste of time, especially in shooting skills.

M2 Carbine
March 25, 2007, 01:59 PM
Walkalong Quote:
I'm thinking M2 Carbine shoots a lot and is naturally talented in this area.

I probably do shoot more than average because of having a backyard range but honestly I don't think I'm a "good shot", just a decent shot, and age is decreasing the accuracy every year.:(

I know many won't agree with me but the only thing a person has to do to be a decent (bullseye) shot is learn to properly maintain a good sight picture and squeeze the trigger.

Stance, hold, etc is just frosting on the cake to make a decent shooter better. A person that has THROUGHLY learned and practices good sight alignment and trigger squeeze can lay in the grass, sit in a lawn chair, do just about anything and still get decent groups if they just hold and squeeze.

I certainly don't recommend people doing this, but if you've got your hold and squeeze down pat the bullet's going to hit close to center even if your eyes are closed.:D

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v135/Bell406_206B/eyesclosedJFrame7yards.jpg

Damien45
March 25, 2007, 02:41 PM
In a firefight, that's what I'm saying...Since I'm a strong advocate of point shooting-unaimed fire, I will occasionally fire a few rds with the off-hand for technique, balance, "ying & yang"; and will be close...But to expect most pistoleros to have any type of proficiency & time lining up a 2-hand Weaver with the off-hand when "hell breaks loose" is preposterous....Practicing that on the range is a wasteful pursuit, but to each their own...
Fastbolt, yours is a different situation...If my dominant hand is failing due to health or injury concerns, of course one should switch over since this will be now the dominant hand...
BTW, critics of PPC shooting events have been advocating eliminating off-hand shooting for at least 30 yrs...

Maybe I am wrong here, but it seems that not only do you ignore practicing with your off hand, but you also seem to ignore practice your reaction/movements. Action is faster then reaction, slow is smooth, smooth is fast. I am sure we have all heard this time and again. Well guess what, how do you take slow to fast? Practice, perfect practice. How do you get near action times for a reaction? Practice, perfect practice. Practice doesn't make perfect, practice makes permanent.

Do you practice your draw from concealment?
Do you practice your reloading?
Do you practice clearing FTF, FTE, ect?
Do you practice anything other than shooting strong side, one and two handed?

Oh, and imho, if they have not gotten rid of weak hand shooting in the last 30yrs, do you think they will anytime soon? I don't. Things in the firearm community either change fast, or not at all. If it works it is adopted quickly. If it doesn't, it is forgotten a lot faster. It's about saving your own life. So it either works or doesn't.

Damien45
March 25, 2007, 02:44 PM
M2.....the jealousy is overwhelming! lol Seriously, if I had a backyard range I would probably shoot everyday. Nice shooting sir! :D

The Lone Haranguer
March 25, 2007, 02:54 PM
How can it hurt anything to do, say, 10% of your practice with the weak hand? Or - where feasible - to do some shooting from unusual positions, e.g., knocked flat on your back? There is a strong possibility that you could be knocked down, wounded or both in a defensive shooting.

Damien45
March 25, 2007, 03:02 PM
How can it hurt anything to do, say, 10% of your practice with the weak hand? Or - where feasible - to do some shooting from unusual positions, e.g., knocked flat on your back? There is a strong possibility that you could be knocked down, wounded or both in a defensive shooting.

Honestly it can hurt the BG. If you are comfortable in the most uncomfortable situation, that is an advantage I would be happy to have. We all practice the "What If". So how can one ignore all of them, just because it is highly unlikely? Isn't eveything we practice highly unlikely to a point?

M2 Carbine
March 25, 2007, 04:04 PM
Damien45
M2.....the jealousy is overwhelming! lol Seriously, if I had a backyard range I would probably shoot everyday. Nice shooting sir!

Yeah, if I could wish something for every shooter it would be a backyard range and a dirt cheap supply of ammo.:)

I shoot often but usually not a whole lot at a time.
I might shoot several times a day, several times a week, but just shoot 25-75 rounds at a time.
For instance, a few minutes ago I ran 5 magazines through a Beretta 21 22LR, then had to hang up the laundry.:D


Darn, I forgot to shoot left handed.:banghead: :D

Dobe
March 25, 2007, 08:47 PM
Now that's a life.

ZeSpectre
March 25, 2007, 09:38 PM
but I was trained early on to shoot weak-hand. See I'm a lefty and the first gun my dad trained me on was a bolt action so I learned to shoot it "righty".

Since then I've had some LEO training where they INSISTED on qualification with both hands. I can think of several times where I was mighty glad that a gun feels comfortable in either hand.

Still practice regularly with both hands together and each hand separately. In addition I do cowboy action shooting in the (double) duelist class so I'm shooting both strong and weak hand there.

Heck for fun I'm even running the "Weak Hand Pistol Challenge (http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=262281)".

So if someone wants to call weak hand practice a "waste of time and ammo" that's their choice but I'll borrow a quote from the "Book of Five Rings".

The spear, the halberd, and the like, are weapons for different fights than the sword or the short sword. Even beginners in my school practice with a long sword in one hand and (short) sword in the other. When in a fight to the death one wants to employ all of one's weapons to the utmost. I must say that to die with one's sword still sheathed is most regrettable.
-The Book of Five Rings (English Translation), Miyamoto Musashi

Mad Magyar
March 25, 2007, 10:09 PM
For instance, a few minutes ago I ran 5 magazines through a Beretta 21 22LR, then had to hang up the laundry.

That brought a big smile :) since my 21A is a jamomatic from the git-go, been sent to Md. twice: same results...Did you have a problem? Mine is going to the aisles of the next gun show....

Back to my premise....Those of you stating 10% with the off-hand, no problem with that...I don't consider 5 rds from a box sustained practice...
Here's my main point...I've taught others and the biggest obstacles with either hand are two fears: noise & recoil...If you overcome that then trigger control, sighting, stance, etc. comes along real nicely. You don't have to be an athlete to switch hands, extend your arm and "spray & pray"against the S.O.B. Here is where "Bill's Drill", a usually mindless waste of ammo comes into play with your off-hand.. So many pistoleros are hung-up with a 1-shot scenario and you wonder why they carry a 17 or 19 rd. mag?:uhoh:
Yes, I bolstered my argument with M. Ayoob..I just wanted to beat others prior to the usual Thunder Ranch, et al and "how much I learned crap" which diminishes days later w/o reinforcement....
Appreciate all the thoughtful replies and divergent opinions...:)

karz10
March 25, 2007, 10:39 PM
Well, I'm new to shooting, and I don't know the details about what should, or should not be, taught in a particular class or course, but as far as SD is concerned, the whole reason I bought a firearm is to defend myself, so it seems to me I should make a reasonable effort to train/practice for that situation, while considering potential obstacles...

While the avg citizen may not be able to, or want to, go overboard w/ excessive scenario training, it seems reasonable to me, personally, to train w/ off hand, especially off hand only, in the event something is wrong with your other hand or arm. I shoot at least a mag or two off hand every time I'm going to the range right now.

I'm not as concerned about the possibility of my strong hand getting injured during the altercation, although that could happen. My main concern was, as some have said, some unrelated incident or accident causing temporary, or God forbid permanent, damage to my strong hand, and shortly thereafter needing to use the weapon to defend myself or my family. I mean, wouldn't that be the worst thing in the world?

I mean, the possibility that a citizen not inentionally, or behaviorly, putting themselves in harm's way having to use their weapon in self defense is relatively remote anyway, right? Isn't the whole point to avoid having to use the thing? So to argue that the chances of having to use your off hand is too remote, doesn't make sense. It is not much more remote than having to use the weapon in a SD situation at all, in my opinion.

I would just hate that I purchased a firearm and trained with it, potentially for years, w/ the idea that I could defend myself if I had to, only to put all my eggs in one basket w/ my strong hand, somehow injure that hand in an unrelated incident, and then that be the time I need to use the weapon in self defense.

Speaking tactically for a minute, what if I had my strong arm in a sling and or cast, and it was obvious that I was injured, wouldn't that make me as a potentially easier mark? As a 6'1" 270# guy, maybe I don't look as vulnerable right now as I would wearing a sling? But anyone in a cast/sling may appear more vulnerable, no matter their stature or gender. That might just be the time some BG decides he's got enough of an edge.

You can play the 'what if' game to no end, I understand that. But to me, it seems to me to be a relatively inexpensive way to further prepare yourself to protect yourself later if the time comes. Certainly you can take it to whatever level you want, and what may seem reasonable for one, may seem unreasonable to another. Some may aspire to be equally proficient w/ either hand, while others may just want to be practically able to use their off hand at short range.

I prefer to at least be in the latter category, and at some point, somewhere in the middle. Right now, that means shooting about 30 rds off hand only, either 15 to body and 15 to head, or a mixture of distances, and about 30 rounds strong hand only in same fashion for comparison, and about 60-90 rounds w/ preferred 2 hand stance to various distances/locations, plus whatever the weekly IDPA practice entails. I figure this is a good way to get started, since as I mentioned, I'm new to shooting my first HG, although I'm sure it's subject to change.

JMHO.

Regards,

Karz

the naked prophet
March 25, 2007, 10:58 PM
Interestingly enough, whenever I shoot weak handed, I end up canting the gun at about 45 degrees. I know my left hand is much weaker, but sometimes I just can't pull the trigger otherwise. I am exercising my left trigger finger whenever I water my houseplants with a spray bottle :D

Just wondering if anyone else ends up canting the gun when firing weak handed?

M2 Carbine
March 25, 2007, 11:27 PM
Mad Magyar
That brought a big smile since my 21A is a jamomatic from the git-go, been sent to Md. twice: same results...Did you have a problem? Mine is going to the aisles of the next gun show....

I had two. Sold one to a friend. They are pretty reliable but are sensitive to ammo and somewhat the mags.
For a pocket gun I use Stingers which function fine.
Most HV is OK but standard velocity is a toss up.


Just wondering if anyone else ends up canting the gun when firing weak handed?

I tend to cant the gun to the right a little also when shooting left hand/left eye.
I can hold the gun vertical but sometimes I'll relax and allow the gun to lay to the right 5-10 degrees. Doesn't seem to make any difference as far as hits on target.

Damien45
March 26, 2007, 01:13 AM
Interestingly enough, whenever I shoot weak handed, I end up canting the gun at about 45 degrees. I know my left hand is much weaker, but sometimes I just can't pull the trigger otherwise. I am exercising my left trigger finger whenever I water my houseplants with a spray bottle

Just wondering if anyone else ends up canting the gun when firing weak handed?

I have when shooting off hand. I tend to do that when I am using my right eye. The odd thing is that I can use my left pretty well. Except sometimes I end up seeing two sets of sights at once. It's like both eyes wanting dominance and neither backing down. When that happens I usually just shut one for a couple rounds.

1911 guy
March 26, 2007, 09:12 AM
Completely normal. You'll also notice that recoil is more controllable with the off hand when the pistol is canted.

Rexster
March 26, 2007, 04:46 PM
Due to lingering injuries, my once-stronger right hand is now my weak hand. Sometimes I wear a brace on the right wrist, which makes firing an autoloader difficult, unless the left hand is used instead. On occasion, I wear this brace while working the streets as an LEO. Another thing: Hits to the gun hand/arm DO happen. Look at a detailed account of the FBI incident in South Florida in the 1980's. A co-worker/friend of mine took a horrendous hit to his forearm during a local shootout. Then, there is practicality; does anyone insist no LEO will switch hands to adapt to conditions, such as aiming around cover, or approaching corners? Well, I do, regularly. Moreover, shooting with both hands not only allows one hand to rest while the other shoots, during long days of shooting, but it doubles the FUN! :) Now, I am functionally ambidextrous, to the point of shooting certain handguns better with the left hand, and others better with the right. (I always did delicate tasks better as a lefty, and more athletic stuff better as a rightie.)

Diamondback6
March 26, 2007, 11:37 PM
Guys, that cant is called "McMillan tilt", generally used in weak-hand or cross-dominant situations. A Marine pistol competitor was its creator.

And I use a slight cant even strong-hand, as it seems to bring my arm and wrist bones into alignment for a better recoil-resisting lockup. 45 degrees is about the max tilt for it to do any good.

Double Naught Spy
March 27, 2007, 11:33 AM
Do you have a reference for the "McMillan tilt"?

Diamondback6
March 28, 2007, 10:48 PM
DNS, the McMillan rotation is named after Bill McMillan, and my source is Ayoob, Gun Digest Book of Combat Handgunnery, 5th edition.

Gimme a day or two, and I'll see if I can find my copy and come up with a page citation.

General rule, though, is you want the rotate to be between 15-45 degrees, any more than that and you actually weaken the hold.

Diamondback6
April 2, 2007, 12:24 AM
Page 171, heading: "Turning the Gun".

mek42
April 8, 2007, 09:59 PM
I worked with a guy who used to be a small arms instructor for the air force. He's the one who turned me on to weak hand pistol drill. I go so far as to reload at least once during each time I practice with my weak hand - the old magazine is dropped out of the pistol (I do make an effort to drop it onto the wood bench instead of the ground - more later) the pistol placed between my knees, new mag retrieved and loaded and then the pistol cocked using my knees to hold the slide. I still need practice with this last step. The entirety of my weak hand drill from draw to placing the safe weapon down on the bench after done shooting is done without any use of my strong hand.

He told me that the rationale for this sort of training came about due to a famous gunfight where several FBI agents were killed (I don't recall the 'name' of said gunfight) - the subsequent investigation showed that the agents had wasted time by policing brass and putting the spent brass in their pockets - like they were trained to do in the range. He taught his students to just drop the magazines wherever - it's cheaper for the Air Force to buy new magazines than to retrain personnel.

As far as whether this pursuit is a waste of time, you are welcome to look at my post in the weak hand challenge thread (http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=262281), post #20, and see for yourself. I fired at 50' indoors using factory 230 grain hardball for the weak hand shooting. The strong hand shooting placed there for comparison was using a light recoil handload (200 gr cast SWC over 5.0 gr Win231). Maybe I should shoot 'weak' hand at bullseye league. ;) Besides, the look on the LEO's face who is a shooter at my club upon seeing my weak hand target, "You're a civilian, right? Why the $%^& are you doing that? Oh, wow, that's good," was well worth the $10 or $20 I've spent on ammunition for weak hand training. :D

I agree with the people who advocate weak hand training for self defense. If you are going to train at all (given the statistically low likelihood of needing to use such training - for the non-sworn CCW), why not train for the possibility of being injured in the strong hand immediately prior to needing the weapon? Not just shot in the arm, it might be a knife wound or maybe you just slipped and fell earlier in the day. They say you never need a pistol unless you really need a pistol - perhaps knowing you're good to go even if you absolutely desperately need to fire your pistol with your weak hand will bring peace of mind if nothing else.

Mad Magyar
April 8, 2007, 11:27 PM
I fired at 50' indoors using factory 230 grain hardball for the weak hand shooting.

With due respect to your opinion and practice regimen, I can't think of anything more wasteful: time & ammo. Your distance is completely unrealistic to a civilian shootout scenario. A carbine would serve you better.
I get the impression you are more trained as a "bulls-eye" shooter in contrast to close, combative pistolcraft....
Again, nothing wrong with shooting a few rds with the off-hand for familiarity; but beyond that I stand by my premise....:)

obxned
April 9, 2007, 01:33 AM
While I doubt weak-hand shooting is a skill I will ever be called upon to use, it is one well worth the effort to learn.

I have fire insurance, but don't expect to use it either.

mek42
April 9, 2007, 01:34 AM
I fully understand that the vast majority of defensive handgun situations occur at distances far closer than 50'. I'll also freely admit that my training to date (I've only been shooting handguns for about a year and a half) is more along the lines of bullseye technique than more traditional defensive technique.

I am 6' tall, and my local indoor range is only about 6'2" to the ceiling from between the bench line at 50' and the targets and the cable systems for the target retrieval systems hangs under this ceiling. It is club policy that targets may be fired upon only when placed as far back as they will traverse - to practice closer requires one to enter the short ceilinged area which is less than comfortable.

So, 50' is the range that I can comfortably practice at the most. And while I know that bullseye training is not the same as defensive training I'd like to think that being able to consistently maintain less than 6" groups at 50' will at least partially offset the stress and excitement induced deviations to shot placement at shorter ranges in an actual situation that I hope never arises. At any rate, my own personal code dictates that if I cannot maintain such a grouping at 50' then I do not have sufficient marksmanship skills with that particular weapon for carrying purposes. I do plan to partake in my club's defensive league next year now that my basic marksmanship skills have improved to where they are now.

As far as my time and ammunition being wasted I must respectfully disagree. No amount of money can buy the pride and satisfaction that I felt when I wheeled that weak handed target back. As far as time spent, the entire exercise took less than 5 minutes.

Trebor
April 9, 2007, 03:41 AM
He told me that the rationale for this sort of training came about due to a famous gunfight where several FBI agents were killed (I don't recall the 'name' of said gunfight) - the subsequent investigation showed that the agents had wasted time by policing brass and putting the spent brass in their pockets - like they were trained to do in the range.

That sounds like the Newhall shooting in the 1970's where four California Highwap Patrol officers were killed in a shootout following a traffic stop. "Gunfight lore" has long maintained that at least one officer was found with spent brass in either his hand or his pocket. The specifics vary depending on who is telling the story. This is used as an example of "You'll train as you fight" as the officer or officer retained the brass because that is what they were told to do at the range. I do not personally know if any of the officers were really found with brass in their hands or pockets, but this is the shooting associated with that idea.

The other shootout your instructor was thinking of was the "FBI Miami shootout" in 1986. In that case two bad guys shot it out with 7 (8?) FBI agents after a bungled felony traffic stop. Two of the FBI agents were killed by one of the bad guys who was armed with a Ruger Mini-14. This is a very widely researched and talked about gunfight and I've never seen any reference to any of the agents retaining empty brass or empty magazines. Other mistakes were made, but not that one.

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